The MSBA has begun a partnership with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. And while in the short-term that partnership may focus largely on COVID-19 related relief efforts for our common constituencies, we believe that over time our combined efforts will be of far-reaching benefit to both the MSBA and the varied business groups affiliated with the MD Chamber.

Yesterday (4/2/2020) marked the kickoff of weekly MD Chamber COVID-19 Workgroup Meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to enhance opportunities for economic resilience for Maryland businesses. These meetings will occur each Thursday for the foreseeable future. Yesterday’s meeting began with an overview of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R.748), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the Layoff Aversion Fund. Discussion included guidance that there would be forthcoming guidance from the Maryland Department of Commerce (MDC) and the Maryland Bankers Association, particularly with respect concerns raised by banks over differing interpretations of numerous provisions of the CARES Act. Because news on the CARES Act is coming at such a rapid pace, MSBA will stay on top of emerging news and issues in this area, and transmit that information as quickly as possible.

Also raised in yesterday’s Chamber of Commerce call was an issue related to Business Interruption Insurance. The New Jersey legislature is considering legislation which would invalidate pandemic-related exclusion clauses in business interruption insurance coverage for businesses with 100 or fewer employees in the state of New Jersey. The MSBA is researching the status of this measure (the NJ Legislature is currently in Recess), and similar business insurance measures nationally.